Thursday Mar 20 2008
City dignitaries cut ribbon on parking garage
By: Jim Ratajczak, The Telegraph
A crowd of excited residents gathered on the corner of Sutter and Reading on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the grand opening of the new Historic District Parking Structure. Attendees were serenaded by a barbershop quartet, browsed classic cars and enjoyed complementary cookies and iced tea while waiting for the $13.6 million parking garage's official ribbon-cutting ceremony. Mayor Eric King, city manager Kerry Miller and council members Jeff Starsky, Kerri Howell and Andy Morin were some of the local dignitaries on hand to usher in this latest phase in the historic district's renovation. This structure represents the cornerstone of the redevelopment of the historic district, especially the railroad block, said King. I'm excited to see it come to fruition. The historic district is one of my top priorities. To see real, tangible results is very gratifying. Sharing a palpable excitement, all of the city officials took turns at the podium addressing the crowd. Right off the bat, King told the crowd that once again, Folsom was recently named as one of Fortune's top 25 places to live, citing the new garage as an example of how the city has repeatedly made that list. This is a cornerstone of what's to come. This is a cornerstone of the commitment city officials have, he said. This is a long anticipated day, said Miller, drawing cheers and applause from the residents. Who would have thought that a parking garage could have been met with such enthusiasm? I think we've gone a long way to solve that parking problem, Starsky said. We made a decision to move forward on this (renovation). It has to be done. Howell also took a moment to remind everyone of the parking structure's true purpose. This is not for light rail parking, she said. This is for people who want to come down, park for three house and enjoy Sutter Street. While the afternoon's enthusiasm was definitely attributed to the Historic District Parking Structure, council members made it clear this is only the beginning of things to come for the city “ the new bridge and the Palladio at Broadstone Lifestyle Center are expected to open within a year. Once the ribbon was cut, crowd members were invited to explore the garage, which is still one day away from housing cars. Residents were glad to see the garage finally open, although some were still cautiously optimistic this structure will spell the end of parking issues. I live in the neighborhood and parking is a madhouse, said Charles Cornell, a nine-year Folsom resident. Hopefully, this will take some of the pressure off the neighborhood. But projects like this help give the city an identity. Sharron Anderson, a 25-year resident of Folsom, was delighted to see the garage open, though, and believes it will work as intended. I think it's wonderful, she said. It's definitely going to help. And it's like they said, at how many other places will you have this many people turn out for a parking garage?